Monday, January 31, 2011

Did you know...

...that being part of RAL's foster program enables you to help more animals than you ever could if you had to keep them all forever? It's true! So many of our fosters hear this: "I could never do that. It would be too hard to give them up." We'd like to offer a different perspective--straight from our fosters (we'd really like to ask the cats and dogs, but they are pretty tight-lipped about their time away from the shelter).

1. Fostering is a no-risk way to have more animals share your life! You can foster animals you might not even consider adopting because of age or health issues.
2. You get to see what it would be like to have "just one more" in your home.
3. It's a great way to give your own pets more opportunities to socialize and exercise.
4. You and RAL get a much better understanding of the animal's personality. Animals in shelter settings can be nervous or depressed. Many times they blossom in a home environment.
5. Your belief that there are indeed angels among us is continually renewed when you get to meet some of our wonderful adopters!
6. Fosters open up a spot at RAL for another animal to be saved.
7. You realize that the foster animal isn't the lucky you--you are! You get to be a hero in the eyes of a homeless pet!
8. Fosters get to see so many unique personalities develop in their care.
9. Your heart gets lots of exercise!
10. RAL covers all expenses related to fostering.

If you would like to learn more about our foster program, contact us at Fostering helps further our mission of SAVING LIVES: providing hope, help and homes to animals in need.

Willis is getting used to being a three-legged wonder before going to his loving, permanent home.
His foster mom is taking good care of him in the meantime.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Did you know...

...that RAL merchandise can make your co-workers look beautiful and happy? It's true! Huge thanks to Suzanne and Gil Burdette for making these SunTrust employees look so good!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did you know...

that the media coverage of the increase in hounds in area shelters (including RAL) has resulted in some wonderful stories? It's true! A few of the dogs have already gone home! We've had people call and want to donate to support the hounds that just arrived--and even someone who wants to help Henson, who has been here for a long time. We also received an email from a woman named Sherri who took the time to tell us the story of Buddy.

Hi RAL ! I heard about the hunting dog additions to your shelter on the news the other day and I just had to thank you for what you are doing. I also wanted to share my hunting dog story with you. My family and I rescued a hunting dog back in the very cold winter of 2006. We were in a strip mall parking lot and saw a very skinny hound dog running around. We tried to get him, but he resisted our efforts. We ended up cornering him and, luckily, he gave in to us. He was very thin and very smelly. We took him home, fed him, and cleaned him up. He had no personality whatsoever because he had just been treated like an animal, never as a pet. I knew we had done the right thing by bringing him home but I wondered what in the world we would do with him. I had struggled many times over the years to find good homes for dogs that were much more adoptable than he was. He ran away from us several times and looked puzzled every time we tried to show him affection. Weeks went by and slowly but surely he began to change. He realized we weren't so bad after all and stopped trying to escape. He started to wag his tail and show appreciation for our affection. Eventually we let him in the house. He never once tried to mark anything in our home, he got along with our other rescues, he put up with our children and their attempts to ride him like a horse, and even our cats weren't afraid of him. He is Mr. Personality now and every time I sit on the couch he wants to snuggle. He loves blankets, walks, and treats. I am thankful every day that we didn't give up on him. Some would say he is a lucky dog but I know the truth, that we are even luckier. Buddy was at least 2-3 years old when we found him. I worried that his personality (or lack of it) was "set" by then. But it definitely wasn't. I would love for you to share his story. I wrote it hoping you would, so it might inspire someone to consider taking in a hound dog. Thank you again for helping the hounds, my family and I really appreciate it. Sincerely, Sherri Cooper


Friday, January 21, 2011

Did you know...

...that the Loving Spay & Neuter Clinic has a very important birthday coming up? It's true! The clinic is going to be a year old on February 15th. The only high-volume, low cost spay/neuter facility located south of the James River, it has accomplished quite a bit in its first year. Our veterinarian, Dr. Laura Drinkwine, has performed close to 4,000 spay/neuter procedures since we opened. That number includes animals being adopted from Chesterfield County and Prince George animal shelters, Richmond Animal League, privately owned pets, and feral cats. If I were good at math, I'd calculate how many unwanted litters those procedures have prevented. But numbers involving that many 00000000's are tough.

A Very Proud Moment as the
Clinic is Delivered.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Did you know...

...that we get by with a little help from our friends? It's true. Richmond Animal League has a vast network of volunteers, fosters, and loyal donors. We also have the support of many local businesses--and we can't thank them enough. Last Friday Josh from Canine Adventure took one of our long-timers, Henson the Hound, out for the morning. Henson has spent the better part of a year living in a run at RAL. Morning and evening volunteers take him out for walks, but his outing on Friday included woods, big rocks, the river, dirt, sunshine, and Josh. Canine Adventure recognizes how good it is for dogs to get out and go. They describe their services as such: We're offering your dog the thrill of discovery, the challenges of obedience, the opportunity to make new friends and learn from the old ones, and the satisfaction of a job well done. Time spent with Canine Adventure will prove to be a highlight in your dog's life. Canine Adventure provides Richmond's dogs with a healthy mix of exercise and social interaction, along with the necessary rules and boundaries set by an experienced, patient, loving handler.

We'd like to offer our thanks for what certainly was the highlight of 2011 for Henson. We hope this hound's year just keeps getting better and better. We can't wait to deliver the news that Henson has been adopted. Stay tuned.

Henson the Hound

Did you know...

...that you don't have to decide on a specific pet before filling out an adoption application? It's true. You can fill out the application, we'll call your references and work on stamping it APPROVED. An approved, open application means that you can keep visiting the shelter until you find the perfect pet for you. Once you fall in love you won't have to wait to start life with your new friend. Bringing a new pet home is an important decision, and we want it to be the right decision for you and your pet. Take your time. Visit us often, we like to see you.

Racer could not decide what color she wanted her eyes to be.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Did you know...

...that being a pet owner helps you problem-solve? It's true. Animals teach us that walking in the rain is not impossible, eating the right amount of food is good for us, and that if you feel stuck, and the gate out is locked, you may have to dig under to get through. Instead of tying us down, our pets can teach us to be flexible, and figure things out. RAL's adoption counselors work with our visitors to find the perfect match for them. You can visit us Tuesday-Friday from 4:30-8:00 p.m. and on the weekends from noon-4:00.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Did you know...

...that sporting RAL apparel makes you very cool? It's true. Just check out these cool cats for proof. We have sweatshirts from youth sizes to XXXL. You need one. Stop by the shelter or our awesome thrift store ( 13547 Midlothian Turnpike) to pick one up.

Cynthia Reed, Victorious Volunteer Coordinator
Sarah Perkinson, Awesome Adoptions Coordinator
Susan Kelly, Sadly Moved to Pittsburgh
Sharon Cornett, Ruler of the Free World

Did you know...

...that Sharon Cornett, the president of our board, has been recognized as the very first Pet Person of the Year by Family Dog Digest and Kat Simons! It's true. For a very long time people were talking about how awesome it would be if local rescue groups could work together to increase adoptions and reduce euthanasia rates in the Richmond area. Richmond Animal League, Ring Dog Rescue, and Chesterfield Humane Society formed Metro Richmond Pet Savers (MRPS) to do just that. The first MRPS adoption event was held in April of 2010. The participating groups have been able to find homes for more than 500 animals since then--and MRPS is going strong! Click here for details about where MRPS will be each month!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Did you know...

...that Apollo Ono met a little girl named Hannah yesterday--and fell in love? It's true. Hannah, who will be two years old next week, and her dad came in to donate some cat food and see some "diddy dats." The diddy dats loved her, and she gave them all equal attention, but Apollo Ono was especially smitten. He's a little LaPerm cat, but he came up to Hannah's waist and kept standing right in front of her if she was making a move for another cat. When we went back to see the puppies, Apollo Ono waited at the door for us to return. At the end of the visit, Hannah said goodbye to Apollo in the appropriate way (and by that I mean that she put him in a headlock). Apollo is sitting around thinking of Hannah today and wishing he had a little girl to play with every day.

Apollo Recovers

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did you know....

that the courage of one little dog can help other dogs find a home? It's true. See if you can follow all of the good news as is unfolds here.

1) In January of 2010 Squire, a little beagle, gets left behind when his owner moves away. Squire is not alone. There are 7 other beagles with him, and four of them die before neighbors alerted authorities. Squire and the surviving others ended up in RAL's care to wait for permanent, loving homes.

2) After falling in love with his funny dancing and side-eyed looks, we ran a story about Squire to let everyone know that it was time for him to go home. We shared the story on Facebook.

3) A woman in Fort Campbell, KY saw the story--and a picture of Squire. She wanted to get him a cab and get him to Kentucky as fast as possible. Instead, she asked if she could pay the adoption fee for Squire to increase his chances of finding a family. Soon after, Squire was adopted.

4) Squire's new family saw other hounds while they were at the shelter meeting Squire. They saw Henson, who has been at RAL for almost a year, and Michelle, who is one of Squire's buddies. They wished that they could take them all home. Instead, they asked if they could pay the adoption fee for Henson and Michelle so that they, too, could find homes like Squire did!

5) With hunting season ending, shelters are seeing an increase in hound dogs and RAL is working hard to find homes for them. An adoption special is announced in which the fee for adult hounds is reduced from $125 to $75.

6) MEANWHILE, back at Fort Campbell....the person who fell in Squire and paid his adoption fee sees that Henson and Michelle are still here--and are being joined by more and more hounds. She wonders if she can help. Our Fort Campbell hero has offered to pay $25 toward the fee for any adult hound--bringing the final fees to $50 through the month of January.

7) Is a reduced adoption fee the only reason to get a pet? No. But if you are ready, could you keep this story of happy endings going by opening your heart to a hound dog? Yes.

We are constantly amazed and humbled by the generosity of our community. And now our community extends all the way to Kentucky and back!

That's worth a howl.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did you Know...

...that RAL's Loving Spay and Neuter Clinic has performed close to 4,000 surgeries since opening less than a year ago? It's true. The problem of homeless pets doesn't begin only when an animal is abandoned or its owner can no longer provide care. The problem begins when unwanted litters are born. The clinic provides low-cost spay and neuter services and is open to the public. For information and appointments, call 804-379-9725.

As you can see, Max is very content with services he received at the clinic this week.

Post-Op Max

Monday, January 10, 2011

Did you know...

...that more than 90 cents of every dollar raised is available for programs and services that directly benefit our cats and dogs? It's true. RAL was formed by a group of volunteers more than 30 years ago. We have blossomed into an organization that is rescuing close to 900 animals a year. We operate a low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic, organize monthly adopt-a-thons for the local coalition known as Metro Richmond Pet Savers, work closely with county shelters to spay and neuter adopted animals, and our volunteers will make up the core of Chesterfield County's Community Animal Response Team as it is formed and implemented in 2011. But we won't forget our humble beginnings. We could not do what we do without the support of our community. The best way to honor the hard work and commitment of our volunteers and donors is to be good stewards of every donation that comes our way. If you ever want to see your dollars at work, contact Amy at for a tour of our facility.

Here are some other stats you might enjoy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Did you know...

...that Pippy came to RAL after being rescued from an animal hoarding case? It's true. Many hoarders believe that they are doing the right thing, and are fearful that their animals will be euthanized if they are turned in to a shelter. Often, more and more animals are taken in until there are so many that one person alone could provide adequate care. Pippy and the other cats were suffering and had ringworm when they arrived at RAL. They are all healthy now, and most have been adopted. Pippy, Prince, Apollo Ono, and Lollipop are still waiting for homes.

Did you know.....

....that every Sunday a dedicated group of volunteers spend their day introducing our animals to the public? It's true. Christine Wheeler, Edie Hensley, Susie Massey and others take available animals to the PetSMART store on CarMia Way. The ultimate goal is to find permanent, loving homes for the dogs that they take each week. But even if a perfect match isn't found, and they came back to the shelter without anyone having applied to adopt them, the dogs have a wonderful time. They get to see people, people get to see them. They get attention and love, and they may even do some product testing--like Aiden here, testing out a new bed.

RAL finds homes for more than 800 cats and dogs a year. There is no way that would happen without the support and hard work of our volunteers. Thank you, PetSMART Adoptions Team!!